May 05, 2019

Journal Entry 3

Our final biocube lab took place in the Integrated Science Building. It unfortunately was not on the farm, but it still was just as important. We collected a box full of samples from our swamp ecosystem that included mud, water, bugs, plants, and much more. The first thing I did was take out all of the big plants and bugs we found. Then I sifted through all of the mud. The smell was not the best in the word, but i found many more insects and detritus mixed in with the swamp mud. We also were able to look at a few of our organisms with a dissecting microscope. It was initially challenging to focus the camera to take a picture, so we just looked at the microscope with our eyes. We looked at a small bug that resembled a maggot shape and size. It was a bright yellow color. However, most of my time was actually used to make the biocube video. It was quite difficult because I had to make the video on my phone and I ended up losing all my footage that I took at the farm. I had to restore my phone to factory settings and then resave all of the files through a zip file on my computer. It was a huge process, but I finished editing the video in the lab which highlighted our experience at the swamp and everything we learned during the final lab.

Posted on May 05, 2019 21:05 by ecarleton ecarleton | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 24, 2019

Journal Entry 2 Foxcroft Farm Lab 3

I sat in silence for my final time at Foxcroft Farm. The skies were filled with gray clouds that blocked any ounce of sunlight peeking out. The sky was drizzling a cool mist of rain. I sat on the same fallen down log. I could hear the faint pitter patter of rain on the water of the swamp and on the blades of the dead grass covering the floor. The first thing I noticed walking to my ecosystem was the green grass and the green hay fields covering the property. The ground was wet as well as the trees, leaves, and any other organism around. The collection of water created a thick wet mud surrounding the swamp. It was the kind of mud that would steal your boots and make suction noises as you try to walk through. However, when talking a closer look at the mud we saw it was home to many organisms. After digging through the mud, we found plenty of earthworms wiggling around. The worms were pinkish and changed to a purplish hue toward the head. There were rings that made up the texture of the organism. I also noticed that there was a booming density of skunk cabbage seem during the last lab trip, but now the quantities have even doubled. The entire swamp had large green leaves of skunk cabbage. There was not a cubic foot of land without any skunk cabbage inhabiting it. I could hear my lab partners complaining about the smell of the plant, but luckily I was too sick to smell anything. As the moment of silence continued, I could hear echos of geese in the sky. As I looked up, I could see a pack of 5 geese flying just over the trees. The were grey with black feathered heads. I could not hear as many bird chirping or woodpeckers as I did in the past. I wonder why because I heard so many of them and so clearly during the previous two labs. I looked all around my ecosystem. I could notice green leaves and flowers beginning to bud on trees and bushes. There was a lot of pussy willows nearby that I didn’t see the week prior. Since our biocube was destroyed, we just pretended we had a biocube in the same location as before. At first, I did not notice much happening directly in our biocube. Then I grabbed a shovel and a net. I dug up mud from the bottom of the swamp floor and placed it in the net. There were about 10 to 20 bugs jumping around in the bottom of the new. Some were black and resembled the appearance of a beetle. I notice another type of bug that was shaped as a slim rectangle. Its back was a clear white color, which I thought was odd for a bug at the bottom of a swamp. We looked in the water and at the edge of where the water meets the soil and there was a coat of green algae. It floated in the water and slowly swayed with the calm current of the water. After the fifteen minutes of silence past, we decided to leave and explore other areas of the swamp. As soon as we left our area, two Canadian geese landed in the water. We observed them from a distance. They slowly swamp toward our once occupied spot. They took caution, knowing we were just there. After a few minutes or so went by, the geese were comfortable enough to swim directly to our biocube spot and begin eating some of the vegetation.

Posted on April 24, 2019 16:42 by ecarleton ecarleton | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 18, 2019

Journal Entry 1 Foxcroft Farm

Environment Observations-
As we arrived to Foxcroft farm for our second day of the lab, the sun just barely raised over the trees. As we entered the clearing through the woods to the swamp, my eyes first drew down to the grown. There was dead plant matter and a layer of thick wet mud layering the ground. Popping out of the ground all over the place were thick green leaves. Each plant wasn’t taller than six inches and had roughly two large bright green leaves. Some of the plants had bright purple lumps under the leaves that resembled garlic cloves. Then, we walked further into the swamp. There was a thin layer of ice coating the shallow ends of the swamp. As I looked closer towards the water, I noticed a tiny moth fluttering around. It was pure white and about the size of a peanut. The moth would flutter every few seconds, as it seemed to be stuck to the ice. I sat on a fallen down log for my fifteen minutes of silence. The log was covered in a green moss. The moss was fuzzy to the touch and was brown at the base, but the top was bright green. At the top of the moss, each green sprout shot out and made a star-like pattern. As I looked down at the base of the swamp, there was dead grass completely covering the floor. The grass was very long and each was a very thick blade that looked like straw. There were mounds of the dead grass piled together where small green blades of grass were sprouting. As I sat in silence, I could hear the wind blow the branches of the trees and blades of the dead grass. There was a sudden “flap flap” and then a faint splash of water. I looked to my left and saw a duck floating in the water. It had a green head and a gray body. It swam in circles until my group member starting walking and crunching through the dead grass. The duck quickly scattered and flew away.
Biocube Observations-
We entered the swamp located on the farm and went to the spot were we placed our biocube. There was a very thin frozen layer of ice covering the small shallow waters and our biocube was frozen and submerged. However, upon closer examination, it was not just under water but also broken into pieces. Our biocube was completely disassembled. At first, we thought it was just poorly made. However, each of the poles that formed the cube were bent to now make an elbow macaroni shape. In the very middle of the pole, where the bending was occurring, the green paint was chipped away. It look as if some animal attacked the cube and has taken several bites out of it. We hypothesized that it could have been a snapping turtle that either thought the cube was food or attacked the cube for being in its territory.

Posted on April 18, 2019 01:02 by ecarleton ecarleton | 0 comments | Leave a comment